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INTRODUCTORY   ESSAY.                                  43
tlowed with great powers of migration, and that they have been
aided in their dispersion primarily hy those changes of climate,
land, and sea, which accompany, or arc effected hy what are
called geological changes, and secondarily hy the elements and
the animal creation. Under these convictions, we feel it im-
perative, on philosophical grounds as well as Oil i/hose of expe-
diency, to use every effort to reduce the vast bulk of forms we
have to deal with in the Indian Flora to as few species as we
can, consistently with a careful study of the structural and
morphological characters of each. We shall, as a rule, banish
from our minds the idea that a species is probably new be-
cause hitherto unknown to ourselves or to the Flora of India;
we shall, upon principle, keep two or more doubtful species
as one, carefully and prominently indicating their differences,
and, when expedient, ranking them as varieties \ in preference
to keeping doubtful species separate till they shall be proved
the same; having ample proof that r so doing we shall avoid
the greater evil. We shall not think it desirable to adopt the
opinions of others in preference to our own* on points where
we have had the beat materials to judge from. With regard
to nomenclature, we shall not alter names established by
[jimiicns, and usually retained by subsequent botanical au-
thors, upon the ground of their having received prior names
before botany was systematized. We shall incline to adopt
old established familiar names, though of doubtful applica-
bility, in preference to giving new, even wlieu legitimate to
do so. Wo shall endeavour to retain the first published spe-
cifie nainet of a plant, even when the genus requires to be
changed, and shall always $ivo preference to priority of pub-
* Thw muy to «ome itou-hotnmcttl rmlcra Hound dogmatical, if not prctmmp*
tumw; but tlu* fw< i*st!wt n it;t»tiuu i* thvply rooted imd widely ttprcod,of keeping
up known brt'i HjHH'ii'rt in wK*nlhuI ili'fcivnw to nitthoHUr*; in nine eases out of
ten, thin IK dour to wivt* tho tnmhlt* o" u n'-oxnuiittntion, and in too many, nimply
to mvoU <«talogiu*K. Tin* H«uu* mttbnrititm nrt* h«»M v<«ry cheap, whon they
uuilo what Itiur-Kpiittw ttWi to Kti'p ^'pamto. VViliu'w* the ntnte of the ,Uri
tinh FUmvwith n»ga«l U> Willown, HratuMt*^ anit ttiwv.
t With cv<M*y \vinh <<» Wiul itupwhi"* by tin? vuiumw (tiwwt of which aiv wt-